Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, a government official may not unreasonably seize an individual. When a police officer uses excessive force in arresting someone or in “self-defense,” that officer has unreasonably seized them in violation of the person’s Fourth Amendment rights under the Constitution.
The type and amount of the use of force is vast—from restraint methods, to pepper spray, to the use of electronic control devices such as the TASER x26, to police dogs, to the use of deadly force as in a police shooting or hogtie restraint. However, an officer can only use the type and amount of force that is reasonably necessary under the circumstances to make an arrest or defend himself/herself.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a police officer’s use of excessive force, seek immediate medical attention and preserve all potentially relevant evidence, including taking photographs of your injuries.
If, as is often the case, you have been charged with resisting arrest, make sure you discuss the consequences of pleading guilty with an experienced civil rights attorney, even if you are offered a plea bargain for time served. In some cases, a conviction for resisting arrest may prevent you from seeking monetary compensation for your injuries.
Law Office of John Fattahi represents victims of police excessive force and their families in civil litigation to recover monetary compensation for their loss. Call or submit the form below if you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of excessive force.